Albums

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Symphonic Music - Released April 8, 2014 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released April 8, 2014 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 8, 2014 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released April 8, 2014 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released April 8, 2014 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
£3.99

Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
£3.99

Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
Alpha Productions' Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master appears to be the debut outing on disc by a French period instrument ensemble under the great name of Les Witches. This collection is made up of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century dances initially published in John Playford's English Dancing Master and related sources. Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master is a nicely chosen program, and certainly makes for pleasant listening, as Les Witches realizes and harmonizes these mostly monophonic dances with a "Broken Consort" of violin, flute, lute/guitar, viola da gamba, and clavichord/cistern, or some smaller combination derived thereof. The 32-page booklet is handsomely decorated with sometimes-oblique black and white images of the group in combination with more photo essay-styled pictures. Unfortunately, overall the music has no muscle and doesn't really inspire one to dance. The manner in which Les Witches handle pieces such as Woodycock tend to be laid-back, somber, folksy, and rather similar to the way that they play several other pieces on this disc. Some of the music is good; for example, their rendering of Drive the cold winter away/The Beggar Boy maintains at least some sense of forward momentum. Nevertheless, an awful lot of the music is centered on the flute, and after a while it gets monotonous -- percussion instruments are utilized only sparingly. There is an obvious counterpoint between the approach of Les Witches and that of the Baltimore Consort; and if one likes Baroque dances performed in a manner that would play well on "A Prairie Home Companion," then by all means, this is for you. While it is certainly unusual to find a European period instrument group that sounds like a North American one, it looks like Les Witches will need to move forward from Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master in order to deliver an album that is worthy of their name.
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Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
Haydn's trios for baryton, viola, and cello must represent the largest body of works by a major composer that are generally not performed on the instruments for which they were written. The baryton, an unwieldy stringed instrument favored by Haydn's patron, Prince Nicolaus Esterházy, nearly disappeared after Haydn's lifetime. But there are modern players who've mastered it, and a copy of Esterházy's own instrument, among other examples, exists. As Haydn's fame spread across Europe, publishers were happy to issue these trios with the assurance that the top line could be played on violin or flute, and indeed they were likely pleasantly played by trios much like the French-Italian group Rincontro heard on this handsomely designed disc from France's Alpha label. Yet one wishes for an authentic performance. The baryton had six or seven bowed strings, plus a large collection of wire strings that would sympathetically vibrate and could be plucked. It's easy to imagine what would be added by the real thing in some of the trios on the present disc. Consider the trio of the Minuet of the Baryton Trio, Hob. 11/80 (track 2), which seems rather minimalistic but would have a haunting, almost Indian effect with sympathetic strings. The trios contain a number of passages in bare octaves, some of which Haydn's contemporaries, presumably reading scores rather than hearing the works performed live at Esterháza, remarked upon in puzzlement. But sample the beginning of the Minuet of the Baryton Trio, Hob. 11/14 (track 9), for an example: the bare octaves wouldn't be bare on the instrument for which the music was composed. None of this is meant to detract from what's offered on this disc, which generally meets Alpha's high standards. The music nicely matches the painting shown on the cover of the disc, a self-portrait with the daughter of the French court painter Louise Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun; each inserts subtly clever details into a simple, conventional framework. The artwork and the art-historical essay on it are, as usual with Alpha, worth the purchase price, and the sound is superb.
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Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
£3.99

Classical - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Tango - Released October 29, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet